Article »

dangling modifier

This Grammar.com article is about dangling modifier — enjoy your reading!

A dangling modifier is a phrase or clause that does not hook up to any other word or phrase in the sentence. The dangling modifier is a gross grammatical error, one you want to avoid.

The error typically arises with adjectival phrases, especially those that begin sentences. Here's the rule: When you begin a sentence with an adjective, that adjective must modify the grammatical subject of the sentence. If it doesn't, it dangles.

When you start a sentence with a present-participial phrase, that is, an ‑ing verb, the grammatical subject must be the agent of that verbal activity. Thus:

Hoping to gain favorable relations with the media, the candidate called a press conference.

When you start a sentence with a past-participial phrase, that is, an ‑ed verb, the grammatical subject must be the recipient of that verbal activity. Thus:

Decided in 1954, the Supreme Court case desegregated public schools.

Have a discussion about this article with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"dangling modifier." Grammar.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.grammar.com/dangling-modifier>.

Free Writing Tool:

Instant
Grammar Checker

Improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing -- and it's FREE!


Improve your writing now:

Download Grammar eBooks

It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. After all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and instant messages.